Sexism in the workplace is manifested in a slew of ways: pay inequality, dress code regulations, getting hit on by your boss. In this case, on the site Australia InfoMine, sexism reared its ugly head before the job even started! According to News.Com.Au, the first requirement on a posting for the Korean coal company Pt. Karya Bumi Baratama is that receptionist applicants be “female, single, max 25 years old.”
While the post does ask for appropropriate qualities such as an education “from reputable university” and “good interpersonal and communication skill,” it rounds itself out with the last bullet point asking for the candidate to be “good looking.”
Bronte Maguire, a 21-year-old from Melbourne, told News.Com.Au, “I actually couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”
The advertisement did not go over well in Australia. When contacted by News.Com.Au, Johann Robertson, general manager of Austraila InfoMine, told the news site, “I’m surprised this got past the screening process we have.”
He also pointed out that the post may have been a clash of the cultures. “Different countries have different ways of looking at that (‘good looking’ requirement),” he said to News.Com.Au.
In a segment of “This American Life,” Julia Lurie describes the school where she teaches English in South Korea, whose halls were equipped with “a full-length mirror and a scale.” Lurie also explains, “When you are applying for university or you’re applying for a job here, you put a picture of yourself on your resume or your application.”
The cultural differences in my mind are not an excuse for such a job posting, but really just show how broad and rampant society’s pressure for women to be attractive really is. At the time of posting on News.Com.Au, the job listing had zero applicants through Australia InfoMine, and as of this post it has been taken down.
Email me at Sarah.Gray@Gmail.com.